The Kid: A Novel
Henry McCarty, when a boy, was small and fair and could charm his way out of almost any trouble he got into, which was often. He also was extremely dexterous with his hands, something that got him both into and out of many difficulties throughout his short life. But it was his childhood that really defined him. He was moved around the country from New York with stops along the way to New Mexico as his tubercular mother sought an elusive cure. He lost his mother while very young and made his way into his infamous life of crime.
Ron Hansen shows a great talent for deft writing and grand storytelling but with unfortunate inconsistency in this book. He seems to have fallen into a trap writers of historic fiction are wont to—feeling like they have to use every bit of research they have done in their novels. There are a great many insignificant characters brought in who bog down the story and do little to enhance it or move it along. This is a flaw that will stop many a reader from finding their way through to the sections of wonderful writing and great intensity that exist.